About 50 people opposed to the death penalty braved heavy rain Saturday to begin a 250 mile, 10-city march on an education mission prior to a rally in Austin.

Participants kept a steady pace to the chant of a civil rights activist who served as drill sergeant.Jack Hill of the Atlanta headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference set the pace with the chant, "Pick 'em on up and put 'em on down. We ain't got time to fool around. We're on our way to `Big A' town."

Texas has executed 38 men since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 in the United States. The current death row population is 341, four of them women.